Sustainable Development Officer (Compliance)

East of England
Industry Sector:
Waste Jobs, Water Jobs, Hydrology Jobs, Environmental Jobs, Wastewater Jobs, GIS Jobs, River Jobs, Geography Jobs, Flood Risk Jobs, Water Treatment Jobs, Coastal Jobs, Drainage Jobs, Stakeholder Engagement Jobs
Job Category:
Engineering, Health & Safety, Legal/Regulatory, Project Management, Compliance, Planning, Reporting, Civil Engineering
Job Type:
Education Level:
Please see job description
£22,000 to £26,000 per annum
Salary Description:
Plus Attractive Benefits Package
Start Date:
Water Management Alliance
Job Ref:
GreenJobs - 013-WMA



An exciting opportunity has arisen for a Sustainable Development Officer (Compliance) to join the Water Management Alliance (WMA) Group of Internal Drainage Boards (IDBs). 

The 6 WMA Member IDBs are responsible for controlling water levels across some 150,000 hectares of England, situated in and around South Lincolnshire, Norfolk and East Suffolk. Although the entire area is at considerable theoretical risk of river flooding and inundation from the sea, the actual risk is substantially reduced by the work that we do in partnership with Local Authorities, the Environment Agency, Natural England and local community groups. 

As a Sustainable Development Officer you will assist in ensuring that development is carried out sustainably within the Boards’ Drainage Districts and upland catchment areas and you will support the efficient working of the drainage/water level management systems in order to mitigate local flood risk.

While experience working within the water, civil engineering or flood risk management industries would be desirable, we recognise that this role may attract candidates from across a number of disciplines.

The appointment offers a competitive salary depending on qualifications and experience, together with access to BUPA and the Local Government Pension Scheme, and the opportunity to progress as the business develops. Applications from those looking to work part-time will also be considered.

For more information about the WMA and this position please the information pack available at Please also feel free to contact Cathryn Brady (Sustainable Development Manager) on 01553 819600 with any questions regarding the opportunity.

The application form can be found at

Please return your completed application by email to or alternatively to the Board’s office at (FAO Cathryn Brady), Water Management Alliance, Kettlewell House, Austin Fields Industrial Estate, King’s Lynn, PE30 1PH, Norfolk.

The closing date for receipt of applications is noon on 12 March 2021. 

We look forward to receiving your application.


Job title: Sustainable Development Officer (Compliance) (WMA)

Location: The role is based in King’s Lynn, Norfolk although the WMA also have offices in Martham (Norfolk) and Holbeach (Lincolnshire).

Responsible to: Senior Sustainable Development Officer for Compliance (WMA)

Responsible for: No line management responsibilities

Grade/Salary: £22,000 to £26,000 (dependent upon Qualifications and Experience)

Key Purpose:

As a Sustainable Development Officer you will be supporting the WMA Group’s Senior Sustainable Development Officer for Compliance in meeting the team’s key purpose of ensuring that development is carried out sustainably within the Boards’ Drainage Districts and upland catchment areas, and ensuring the efficient working of the drainage/water level management systems in order to mitigate local flood risk.

While you will be working the team’s three core areas of work (below) it is expected that the majority of your time will be spent working within the compliance area. 

Core Areas of Work:


• Liaising with the Local Planning Authorities, developers and agents regarding individual planning applications and their drainage strategies with regard to the WMA’s requirements (including enforcing the Board’s byelaws).

• Support the provision of information requested with regard to Flood Risk Assessments or capacity of Board-maintained drainage infrastructure.


• Support the application of our policies to all applications for Land Drainage Consents.

• Liaise with applicants and respond to applications for Land Drainage Consent, with the aim of negotiating a mutually acceptable solution which does not negatively impact flood risk.

• Apply relevant conditions of consent that secure Surface Water Development Contributions, Commuted Maintenance Fees, Deeds of Indemnities and drainage improvements.

• Engage with applications for Development Consent Order (DCOs).


• Respond to and assist with general drainage enquiries to promote the efficiency of drainage networks within the Internal Drainage District.

• Liaise the residents, landowners, WMA Operational Delivery teams and constituent Councils to ensure ongoing efficiency of flood risk management infrastructure.

• Investigate and process requests for certificates of compliance where a restriction has previously been placed on a property as condition of works which required the Board’s  Consent.

• Undertake both informal and formal enforcement action as required against contraventions of the Land Drainage Act 1991 and the Board’s Byelaws


• Maintaining accurate records of all planning/consenting/compliance cases reviewed and processed using the team case file register and email inbox.

• Liaising with HM Land Registry regarding registration of existing and newly acquired Board land and the registration of restrictions associated with consents.

• Ensuring Health and Safety is paramount at all times and that Health and Safety objectives are promoted and achieved.

• Keeping knowledge current and up to date, by way of continuous professional development (CPD). Time and access to relevant training courses will be provided.

• Carrying out specific projects and research, as required.

• Any other duties that may reasonably be required.


• No specific qualification or experience requirements.

Desirable Qualifications:

• A relevant degree in an engineering, geographical or water management-related subject.

• Working towards professional accreditation.

Desirable Experience:

• Experience working within the water / civil engineering / flood risk management industries, or experience working for a Risk Management Authority (RMA) such as the Environment Agency or Lead Local Flood Authority (“LLFA”).

• An understanding of the structure of local government and of working within a democratic process.

• Experience working within law enforcement. 

• Experience with effective customer liaison and negotiation.

Essential Skills/Knowledge:

• Ability to prioritise and organise workloads to meet deadlines and to remain calm under pressure.

• Good written communication skills (including report and letter writing).

• Good spoken communication skills (including presentation skills and interpersonal, communication).

• Ability to competently use computer software such as Microsoft packages (Access, Excel, Word and Outlook).

• Ability to work well with others at all levels both internally and externally.

• A full and valid UK driving licence. 

Desirable Skills/Knowledge:

• A methodical approach to work, demonstrating an attention to detail as well as an accuracy in record keeping.

• An understanding of the Land Drainage Act 1991.

• An understanding of the planning system.

• An understanding of Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management (FCERM). 

• An understanding of GIS software.

• The ability to interpret and apply technical information (e.g. British Standards, Codes of Practice, technical reports and plans).


• You must be physically fit to walk around watercourse and drainage catchments (up to 15% of the role) sometimes in inclement weather conditions. Such areas are potentially difficult to access, dirty, remote and/or subject to dense vegetation.

• On occasion the post holder will be expected to work outside of ‘normal’ office hours to represent the Water Management Alliance and its member Board’s at public meetings, events and committees.

• All work performed/duties undertaken must be carried out in accordance with relevant Water Management Alliance, Board and Departmental policies and procedures, within legislation, and with regard to the needs of our customers. 

• Work within the public and Flood and Water Management sectors can involve dealing with new and emerging legislation. As such further duties or refinements of current workload may alter the remit of this role to meet the impact of new work areas on the organisation and/or relevant member Board’s. This highlights the importance of the post holder in being an effective advocate for this service area and having a good insight into the wider remits of the organisation.


Closing Date:

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